LEAP Subscriber Goes Full Copyright Infringement – But I Love Her Just the Same

Some shameless self-promotion today.

Received this email:


I recorded this for myself today.

It took me about five hours to record and edit it.

I thought you could offer it as an upgrade, bonus, or something amazing like that.

Newsletter – Issue 10 – March 2015


Ah yes, that one was the ‘email marketing like a boss’ issue.

Attached to her email was an MP3 file, and yes: a neatly edited, clearly vocalised recording of said issue.

Is that actually copyright infringement?

I don’t know, I can’t be bothered to look it up.

Besides, I think it’s a totally awesome thing to do, so I’m pretty grateful.

I had no idea though that these newsletters can have such an impact on people.

Wow, to be honest. 5 hours…? Wow.

Also, listening to the track, I was pretty amazed at exactly how densely packed my writing is.

Yes, your little Stellar was a little impressed and humbled, having his own work thrown back at him like that.

So, I’ll take her up on it.

I don’t usually do this – giving away free issues.

But this month, if you sign up for the LEAP art marketing newsletter before the August 1st, you get not only the next issue, and the Spyhole Salesman’s Business Secret, and ongoing email access to me…

You also get the recording of the March issue as a totally free bonus.

Get it here –> http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/



Three Tips From the Pros That Make Writing SO Much Easier…

Sometimes, things just don’t flow.

You know you have something to say, you want to write and you know what about – but it just ain’t happening.

Happens to the best of us.

Here’s a few ideas to help you when you seem to be stuck.

1: Don’t delete

You know that feeling, when you write two or three lines, read back, and think: No, that’s not it”.

If at that moment you delete them, you’re actually stifling your creativity.

You’re telling yourself that you’re doing it wrong, it’s a direct way to criticise yourself.

And if you’ve ever tried to teach someone something creative, you know that criticism is a fantastic way to instantly shut down any creative process.

So instead of deleting, just hit enter and start a new line.

Keep the words rolling, even if they’re no good yet – before long, you’ll catch the groove.

2: Don’t stop

There are times when you reach a dead-end, when you don’t know how to proceed or where to take the narrative.

When that happens the worst thing you can do is stop and stare at the screen.

Instead, just keep repeating a word, over and over again.

Can be the last word you wrote, or you can take a logical connector, such as ‘because’, or ‘and’, or ‘but’ – whatever makes sense in the context of what you’re trying to write.

When you do that, you keep pinging the same part of the brain that makes for writing.

It’s like doodling, you know?

If you just draw lines and shapes, you’ll end up sketching before too long.

Writing works the same way.

3: Never read back

Ever see someone drive home while looking in the rearview mirror?


When you’re writing and you keep going back to the previous, you’re looking back instead of ahead, and that means you’re triggering a rational, analytical process.

When actually, you want to keep pushing the non-rational, creative buttons, because that’s where the next line, the next idea and the next turn will come from.

Getting analytical is good, but only once you have the first draft written out complete.

That’s when you can give it a clear look, step back and see what’s there and what needs to be changed.

Until you get to that stage, just keep on tapping.

You’ll end up with more than you need, and when you then edit away the bad parts, you’ll end up with something pretty useable that just needs some cleaning up.

Just like Michelangelo said (I think it was him): he chips away the marble until the only thing left is the sculpture hidden in it.

There you go: three tips used by the best of writers.

Use them to your advantage.

You get this kind of tips and a whole bunch more, custom delivered exactly when and how you need it, when you join the writing mentorship program.

Details here –> http://martinstellar.com/starship-mentorprise-writing-coach/



3 Reasons to Always Offer an Optin Incentive

Last week, a LEAP subscriber told me about a change he made in his business plans.

This gent is a watercolour artist – excuse me: an AMAZING watercolour artist – and like so many artists, he’s trying hard to find buyers – but it’s hard work.

He’s go a nice clean-looking website, a presence on social media, a well-developed email habit – all good.

But then he told me that he’ll no longer offer an optin freebie to new visitors.

Because: “I want people to sign up because they like my work, that’s it”.

And I can see where he’s coming from.

But it’s not a very good approach.

Even if his writing is good – which it is – and his art is truly captivating.

See, if you expect people to sign up to your list simply because they want to, optin rates are going to be extremely low.

Couple of reasons why:

–> 1: Gratitude: If people give you their email address, the least you could do is give them something in return.

Sure your email updates should be valuable in and of themselves, but is that enough?

I say it isn’t. I don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t offer them a free, hi-resolution pdf of one of you paintings, for example.

It’s a simple way to say thank you.

–> 2: The psychology of reciprocity: we’re hardwired to return favours, it’s part of our psychology.

If you say: “I’ll give you abc, for free”, people will be just that more likely to give you something in return.

–> 3: Being more likeable: You know that people need to know you, like you, and trust you if they’re going o buy something from you.

But they also need to know, like and trust you if they’re going to ‘buy into’ your email list.

Saying right up front “here, this is free, for you”, is a great way to trigger a small but significant amount of sympathy for you.

And that really, really helps.

So with those three together (and there are more), you will very probably have higher optin rates than if you just say ‘join my list’.

Not convinced? Easy enough to prove it for yourself, with a split test: send half your traffic at a landing page without an optin incentive, and the other to a page that does have one.

You’ll see soon enough which one works best.

Next, you’ll want to actually send emails to your list.

And, those have to indeed be worth it in order for people to read you.

Just pitching your art all the time is going to get real old, and it’ll cause people to unsubscribe.

Instead, write inspiring, fun, useful emails.

Give people something worth reading, along with pictures of your latest work.

Like my student Leah, for example. She’s a photographer, she’s been through half my mentorship program, and she’s getting real good at emails.

In fact, the other day she sent me on for review, and I told her: “I’m not going to review this one, it’s too good. Send me a new draft”.

I was really pleased, too: the email she submitted was a true snapshot image – just like a photograph.

Almost like I could smell the parsley she wrote about, and I could just see the steam rise up from the pan: it was an email worthy of an email-marketing photographer.

And if you want to write that quality email to your list, you very likely can.

Watch how others do it – those emails that you keep reading, because they’re fun, useful, helpful?

Let yourself be inspired, get to practising, and you too can develop an effective, sales-getting email habit.

And if you want help, and learn from an email marketing specialist how to do it right, you can find out the details here: http://martinstellar.com/starship-mentorprise-writing-coach/



One Simple Strategy to Turn Your Mind Into a Confidence-Building Machine

Isn’t it wonderful to be a human being – to have a mind, a body, emotions, and the will to manifest and achieve things?

To me it’s absolutely amazing, to have a psyche that takes care of me.

What’s less than stellar though, is that most all of us – myself included – don’t really know how to use that psyche to its full potential.

But the more I study the mind and psychology – and especially the issue of confidence, this month – the more I realise that it’s actually really easy to get more out of ourselves.

Basically, the mind is like a vending machine: you pop in a few quarters, out comes a can of soda.

Or in other words: you feed the mind a question, an it automatically goes on a search for the answer.

It has to, that’s what it’s for.

And, it delivers an answer. Probably always.

Most of the time though, we don’t like the answer, or we dislike it so much that our conscious mind doesn’t even register the answer.

Here’s where it goes wrong: we just keep asking ourselves the wrong questions.

“Why is it so difficult for me to lose weight?”

“Well”, says the mind, “if you put it like that, it’s because of your genes and that thyroid problem you have”.

But if you ask yourself: “What can I do to lose weight faster, despite my thyroid problem?”

Then the mind goes: “Hey tiger, I’m glad you asked! How about abc or xyz? Did you try that?”

This is no joke, it’s simple psychology, and believe you me: we’re all doing it wrong, all the time.

The stories we tell ourselves about our abilities and talents and future… most of it is simply dysfunctional.

And without getting woo-woo on you, I can tell you that your actions follow suit to the thoughts and opinions you have.

Those actions determine your behaviour, and thus you shape how your life and your reality manifest.

Which means that if you don’t actively work with your mind, if you just let it run rampant and you keep yourself mired in negative spirals of thought, you’ll create a feedback loop.

The biggest damage this does is in your level of confidence – which is terrible because your mind has another sneaky tendency:

To seek and perceive confirmation of what it holds to be true.

So what do you do?

Well, one thing you can do is get the February LEAP, the Confidence issue.

But if you don’t want to, or can’t afford to?

Then do this:

Carefully consider the questions you ask yourself.

Make it a daily exercise to observe how your mind works, how you postulate your questions about yourself, your activities, your purpose and mission and creativity.

And each time you see yourself asking a dead-end question, stop yourself and rephrase it.

“Why are people not buying my artwork, even though they say they love it?”

Turn that puppy into: “What should I do to increase the chance of people who love my work to buy it?”

Develop it as a habit, and you’ll see your results change by and by.

It might seem strange, but this stuff works.

Sages of all times, way back to Greek philosophers and mystics, know that it does really work.

So do modern-day psychologists.

You change your mind, with that you change your mindset, and thereby you slowly change your reality.

And if you want to get a full 16-page manual on how to change your mind and become a far more confident person, and thereby achieve more success and consequently more sales?

Then you get the next LEAP Newsletter, right here –> http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/



One Simple and Effective 'Trick' to Cause an Emotional Response in First-Time Visitors

Got a little instructional for you today.

Yesterday, a reader responded to my call ‘hit reply and tell me where you struggle’.

Always nice to hear back from people – do keep ’em coming.

She told me a bit about her struggles, and ended with ‘this is my site, please have a look’.
so I did, and I liked what I saw.

But there was one important thing missing:

She didn’t have a tagline.

In the header it stated her name, but that was all.

And because of that, she misses out on an enormously powerful emotional effect.

I call it resonance: when someone is exposed to your message, or your website, and something in them ‘clicks’, and goes: “Huh, I like that”.

That short moment right at the start, is powerful, useful and important.

Without it, a visitor might just poke around the site a bit.

With it, they might do the same, but they’ll do so while being in a more engaged, more joyous emotional state.

And while the difference may be slight depending on the person, it does increase the chance of them spending more time, reading more, seeing more of your paintings, or even signing up.

I like to think of the tagline as a 10-word artist’s statement.

A short, pithy message that’s personal, shows your passion, demonstrates your why, and reaches into the viewer’s mind with to see if there’s anything it can connect with.

It’s not that hard to write one.

Here’s how, starting with the don’ts:

First, don’t be strictly factual: “Johnny Johnson, watercolour artist’ says what’s in the tin, but it has no pulling power, it doesn’t push any emotional buttons.

Second, don’t try to be clever. We’re talking about communications here, so no nifty wordsmithery.

Next up, the dos:

Take a sheet of paper, and quickly start writing short descriptive sentences about yourself, your art, your passion or your techniques.

List 100.

Don’t overthink it, do NOT second-guess or judge their usefulness – what we’re looking for at this stage is a brain dump.

Just write as many as you can, as fast as you can.

You probably won’t reach 100 at fist go, but that’s ok.

It can take days or even weeks to get the perfect tagline together, all part of the process.

Carry a notepad or index cards (my fav) with you, and any time during your day that an idea comes up, jot it down to later add to the list.

Once you have 100 of them (you’ll find that parts of some statements will be duplicates, and that’s fine), you’re done with the strictly creative part of the exercise, and you can get more rational about it.

In other words, you put on your editor’s cap.

You’ll quickly see that most of them aren’t all that great or useful, so you just cross those out.

Whittle down until you have some ten or twenty good contenders, and copy those over to a new sheet of paper.

Btw, I think the best way to do this is by writing it in longhand, on paper.

Writing by hand activates different areas in the brain, compared to typing, and that’s useful for the kind of process we’re talking about.

So now you have 10 or 20 an a new sheet, and again, you take an axe to the ones that aren’t ideal or perfect.

Narrow down to the five best ones, and copy those to yet another sheet.

Then you take the best bits of those five, and mix & match the words that have the most emotional appeal, are most relevant and to the point, and you scramble the words, concepts and meanings together until you’re left with one simple, 5 to 10 word sentence that basically says:

Who you are, what you do, why you do it, why it matters.

You stick it in your site header beneath your brand name or your own name, and you’re done.

From that moment on, each time a new visitor lands on your site, they’ll not just see your name, but instantly they’ll also read your micro-artist’s statement.

And if they’re the right kind of person for what you do, something in them will perk up and recognise it.

A useful exercise, not just for your site to be more effective, but very likely for your own mind as well.

Highly recommended.

Also recommended: the LEAP Newsletter. Details here –> http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/



Lessons From the Masters: Write Drunk, Edit Sober – BUT…

…just don’t drink when you write.

According to popular lore, Ernest Hemingway said a writer should write drunk and edit sober.

There are two problem with this.

The first is that according to his daughter, he never said those words.

Secondly, it’s an instruction that should not be taken literally.

What good writers understand it to mean is that you should write AS IF drunk.

Meaning: unfettered and uninhibited.

Or, as James Chartrand of MenWithPens fame said: Write shitty first drafts.

Reason being that if you try to edit your writing as you go about creating the first draft, you keep stalling yourself.

Second-guessing what you’re putting on paper is disastrous to your creativity.

I’ve mentioned this before in the context of the three writer’s identities, and I’ve talked about it in interviews.

(If you’ve not heard them, hit reply and I’ll send you a link).

Writing can be really simple, and really fast.

IF you write *as if* drunk.

Or in other words, write fast, write lyrically, spew all your ideas out and get as crazy as you want.

Nobody will read your first draft anyway, so why force yourself to create a good first draft?

You’re going to go straight into to editing it, so it makes no sense at all to mix the two tasks.

Once you get this, the very moment you discover how to write without involving your rational mind, it’s like a veil is removed, and you’ll be amazed at the torrential flow of creativity that you can let flow.

At will, whenever you like. You start writing, and within 20 or 30 minutes – BAM.

A draft that’s so rife with ideas and content that all you need to do is clean it up, delete a bunch of mess, and hit send.

There you go: a professional writer’s trick for writing fast ‘n good emails, articles, status updates, blog posts, what have you.

You can even write a whole novel in a month with this strategy, plenty of people pulling it off regularly.

Oh btw, there’s a reader named Maria I mentioned the other day – she caught the daily email bug last week, and she’s been at it daily.

Yesterday she showed me her ‘from now on I’ll write every single day’ intro piece, and it was pretty dang good.

Lyrical, even.

I’ll send you a link later on today.

Meanwhile, go here if you want me to show you the psychological tricks of writing emails that get you sales –> http://martinstellar.com/starship-mentorship-writing-coach/



When You're Green You Grown, When You're Ripe You Rot. Choose Which

School’s not ever out, you know.

Not if you want to go places.

Erika Napoletana said it nicely, a few years back:

Something to the effect that if the economy is hurting you, you need to add a new skillset.

I mentioned it to a friend at the time, a single mother social media manager with two or three kids. (I can never keep track of offspring, probably because I don’t have any.)

And no, sorry, I don’t want any. Maybe if you ask the next Stellar.

Told my friend:

“There’s lots to learn you know, you can follow any online course you want, and it’ll help.”

Retorted she: “I don’t need no stinking course – I need more clients and more money coming in.”

Upon which she went back to Flakebook to whinge about how bad her clients were, how empty her bank account, and how bad the economy.

Yes, I know.

So in my best Dr. House impersonation: Idiots!

You’re not like that – are you?

Good, good to hear.

So, here’s a skillset for you to learn: becoming a proficient email marketer.

Yes, I have a course for that which you can buy.

But if you’re smart, and a self starter, and you know how to apply yourself and a little discipline, you can do it on your own too.

Just do it. Seriously.

Here’s my 30-day challenge for you:

Each day, reserve the first 30 minutes of your day for an email draft.

Don’t worry about content, or quality, or messaging: just write, as fast a you can.

Write anything.

We’re just practicing here, just doing reps.

Training the writing muscle.

Write “Write” over and over again if you can’t get started, until other words come up, and you’re off to the races.

Once a week, take the one that’s most fun and most useful, and finish it up and send to your list.

Good chance that before the month is out, you’ll have trained your writing muscle to the point that you’ll be sending more than just one of the daily drafts.

Keep LEAP rule #1 in mind though: make it fun. Enjoy it, write something that makes you smile.

If you don’t enjoy writing it, nobody will enjoy reading it, so focus on fun.







Meanwhile, here’s where you can get my personal and direct help if you’re seriously serious about learning and expanding your mind –> http://martinstellar.com/starship-mentorprise-writing-coach/



Starship Mentorprise: Coaching at the Speed of Write

An email came in last week:
“Martin, I need better copy but I don’t have the budget to buy from you. Do you offer mentoring services, so I can improve my own writing?”

Smart. Always good to learn from an expert.

Truth is, while I’ve helped many people over the years, it’s always been part of a larger project – I’ve never offered teaching or mentoring as a separate offer.
Just never thought of it.

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How Not to Write an Article or Blog Post

Sauntered over to Twitter just now.

Saw a link by someone who usually shares good stuff, so I clicked.

Landed on a blog post.

It opened thusly:

“It’s like this, you see”.

Now, I’m all for conversational writing.

I commend personal style.

But if you’re going to write something, do it in a way that makes people actually read the stuff.


How do you get people to read you?

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Weekly Free Copy Review, Starting Today. Check it Out, Submit Your Copy

The other day I asked my readers to submit their copy for a free review.

Got some interesting reactions, and I think it’s something I should do weekly.

So if you want me to review your copy, just hit reply and tell me the link where I can see it.

I’ll only do one each week, and I’ll choose based only on what I think is the most interesting example for my readers.

So here goes, the first of my weekly free copy critique.

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